Full capacity

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The term full capacity is constantly in news reports lately. Hospitals first reported that they are in full capacity with Bacolod City Administrator Em Ang saying late last week that, based on their hospital monitoring, utilization is already at 97-98 percent.

Now we hear reports that quarantine facilities around the province are filled up with some even exceeding their occupancy limit.
With cases still on the rise, what are our other options in quarantining the positives? Can the generals answer this since they were the ones who insisted to ban home quarantine?

A report from the provincial government showed that 16 quarantine facilities are filled up while eight are at critical level. Silay City is among those at a critical stage and we all know that they have another facility available but that was lent for Bacolod’s use.

In fact, our TVDS reporter, Shiela Gelera was in that Silay facility and posted nothing but praises for the treatment and the condition of the facility which is way better than what positive patients in Bacolod are posting regarding our own facilities in the city.

With this new development, will Silay be getting back their facility once they reach full capacity in their existing facility? What about Bacolod? How are we faring with regards to facilities since we have the most number of cases in the region at the moment? With rain showers yesterday, I hope it brought some coolness and no flooding in our facilities.

But beyond the issue of where to place our positives, there are reports that some positive patients in Bacolod are now refusing to be placed in government-run quarantine facilities. Some of the reasons point to the conditions of our facilities but many more believe their homes are better equipped to handle self-isolation than in the schools where four to six strangers share a classroom and tens of them share a bathroom.

In an interview over Aksyon Radyo last Monday, Councilor Renecito Novero, who is in charge of our quarantine facilities said that they are talking with religious leaders to convert retreat homes into paying quarantine facilities but they have not finalized negotiations.
At the moment one hotel here has been accepting positive patients for quarantine and I hope many more will offer spaces for domestic cases.

Novero however warned those who are defying the quarantine order that they can face charges, citing a law that lists down prohibitive acts during a public health crisis. “Anyone who blatantly refuses to cooperate is committing a crime and subject to arrest,” he said adding that everyone should understand that this is a time of war and “government is not tasked to provide convenience and comfort, but safety.”

Novero has a point but the people also have constitutional rights as he so clearly pointed out as well. And for those who have the resources, they can clearly fight this to evade quarantine. I bet those who are in defiance of the order are from the mid to upper class who believe their well-being is threatened in getting locked up among strangers.

I personally would feel that way too, especially knowing that I can heal better in the comforts of my own home, well-isolated from other members of my household.

Novero is right in saying that government has no obligation to provide convenience or comfort, but seeing the conditions of our facilities circulating online, the people are owed at least decent sleeping quarters and clean bathrooms.

In another news, Gov. Bong Lacson blacklisted three employees of a cable firm who refused to be swabbed when they flew in here last September 15. There were actually seven of them, including four from a surveying company.

The four APORs identified with DC Aquino Land Surveying Services were arrested by the police and were transferred to a Bacolod facility after they were tested. The three employees of PAX Cable, Inc. however were not found and reportedly left the province last September 19.

A search in Google does not generate information about these two companies, thus it gives you no idea what their business in town was. Strangely though, these employees had letters signed by a Bacolod City councilor which allegedly bears instructions that they are exempt from existing health protocols. No wonder their arrogance!

But the nerve too of this councilor to give exemptions, especially to outsiders, when this official voted to give the mayor the power to lock us down! Worse is the thought that while we try to curb the spread, that we all know was brought in from the outside, we exempt visitors from following protocols?

I wonder what business these companies have in here and more importantly, what interest does this councilor has in these businesses for her to be magnanimous in giving concessions that even defy protocols set by the provincial government.

There I said it. It’s a she. Although the provincial government had the decency not to call out the official, I think they must be reminded that we still belong to a small community and word will spread immediately especially if you overstepped your limits. Guess who?*

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